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Also one of the original 1968 Wild and Scenic Rivers, the Clearwater includes the Selway and Lochsa Rivers. With an average gradient drop of 31 feet/mile, Lochsa is the Nez Perce Indian word for “rough water.” Dividing the mountain-locked grandeur of north-central Idaho, the Lochsa roughly parallels Highway 12 and Lolo Trail, the historic route of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and part of the National Trail System, which is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Courtesy of Dave Gardner

In 2018 America celebrates the 50th anniversary of public rivers. The passage of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 created the National Wild and Scenic River System, which includes more than 12,000 miles of wild, scenic, and recreational rivers. The system protects specific segments of free-flowing, un-dammed rivers for water-based recreation, fish and wildlife habitat, scenery, geology, and cultural and historical uses.

The US Department of the Interior has provided beautiful views of public rivers (or those that might one day be protected by the act) in the gallery above, so scroll through, then look for more at @USInterior, the Interior Department's instagram account. Or get out on the water and #makeyoursplash this year to celebrate our protection of the rivers wild.